By: Bro. Sunday Eyanrin (Evangelist)
My Dearly Beloved Brethren, the Topic before us is as important as our Salvation. I therefore urge you to please, give me your undivided attention as we listen carefully to this Interesting message.
Today, we are going to discourse on one of the greatest messages on how Christians communicates with the Almighty God and how to pacify Him on our needs from His throne of mercy.
Our focus on this important discussion is based on the fact that Man’s greatest spiritual enemy is Satan .Satan brought ‘’SIN’’ into the world, and Death through ‘’SIN’’, and thus Death spread to all men, because all Sinned, Rom. 3:23. Rom. 5: 12.
“SIN” is Satan’s most powerful weapon to enslave and put is enemy under captivity – John 8:34. Therefore Man became prone to:
- THE ALTIMATE IS DEATH (physical/spiritual death). 3:22-24, James 2:26.
GOD’S REDEMPTION PLAN FOR SINNERS
It is on this basis, God’s plan for the salvation of the entire human race was made manifest through His Son Jesus Christ, as declared in John.3:16, 1 John.3:8
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. NKJV
THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE
Brethren, all Christians must be aware that from the day you are enrolled into God’s Kingdom – The Church of Christ, you have been automatically enlisted into God’s Army, for an encounter with Satan the Devil.
2 Cor. 10:3-4 declared, 3 for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, NKJV.
Apostle Paul Declared in Eph. 6:12-13
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. NKJV
WHAT ARE THE WEAPONS OF THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE?
Brethren, God knows that Satan – the Devil, your adversary is roaring like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter.5:8. It is for this purpose God has made available the following Weapons for Christians to trample over Satan.
WHAT IS PRAYER
Prayer is not just a mere petition, or an earnest request to God. But a very powerful Weapon and shield to Christians. Jesus knows the wise of Satan – the devil, hence He said, in Matt. 26. 41a, watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. Brethren, the power in prayer cannot be over emphasized, it is on this basis we will turn to our hymn book. Soc no. 422. Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Admonished Christians to pray without ceasing. 1 Thess. 5:17, Col.4:2.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRAYER?
It is absolutely necessary that we make some clarity between prayer and fasting, so as to correct some misconceptions on this matter. Jesus said, pray lest you enter into temptation, and not fast lest you enter into temptation. Prayer is a defensive armour to avert or protect the oncoming treats of the Devil. That is not the purpose of Fasting, Fasting is a powerful complimentary weapon to prayer. We will give details for the benefit of fasting as we proceed.
- Christians through prayer obtain mercy, and find favour from God in times of need. 7:7-8.
- If you realizes your sins and humbly pray for forgiveness, the Lord is faithful to forgive you your sins. 1 John1:9
THE BENEFIT OF PRAYERS THROUGH THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH
This is a blessing from God, to local congregations that are scripturally organized, to take charge of some of the Issues in a local Congregation. The Spiritual powers given to the Elders of the Church by God, cannot be over emphasised. A local Congregation that is blessed with Elders, and do not know the value of these men is blind. In James 5:13 16, Brother James, by the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. NKJV
HINDRANCES TO PRAYERS
Beloved, why are there hindrances to your prayers? Why do you pray and there is no answer to your prayers? These are some of the reasons.
- One of the greatest factors is SIN. 59:1 – 3
- Another factor that can hinder prayer is asking Amiss in your prayers – 4:3
- DOUBTING – in your prayers is another factor. 11:6 etc.
Please note. That in other hand God can decide not to answer your prayers for reasons best known to him. 2 Cor.12:1 – 9.
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting simply means abstinence from food and water especially as an act of Religious observance.
WHY DO PEOPLE FAST?
Do people fast without a cause? These are necessary questions that we must give an answer from the Bible. First from the Old Testament. Then from the New Testament.
MOSES FASTED FOR THE SIN OF ISRAEL – Deut. 9:15 – 19
Deut 9:15- 19
“So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire; and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the Lord your God — had made for yourselves a molded calf! You had turned aside quickly from the way which the Lord had commanded you. 17 Then I took the two tablets and threw them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes. 18 And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was angry with you, to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me at that time also.
THE PEOPLE OF NINEVEH FASTED FOR THEIR SINS – JONAH 3:4 – 10
Jonah 3:4-10 – And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? 10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
ESTHER, MORDECAI, AND THE JEWS, FASTED TO AVERT DESTRUCTION – ESTHER 4: 1 – 17
When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. 3 And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4 So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king’s gate. 7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people. 9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” 12 So they told Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” 17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.
FASTING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT FASTTING. Matt.6: 16 – 18
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. NKJV
FASTING A COMPLIMENTARY WEAPON TO PRAYER
It has become necessary that we prove the fact that fasting is a powerful weapon complimenting prayer. This can be confirmed as declared by the LORD. In Mk. 9:14 – 29.
SHOULD THE CHURCH FAST?
As we can vividly confirm from the scriptures that there must be a specific reasons for fasting, why can’t the Church fast. Even now that we have two special cases on ground. In Acts 13:1 – 3, the Church at ANTIOCH fasted for the work of the ministry.
In Acts14:21 – 23, THE Church at GALATIA fasted during the task of appointing Elders in the local Congregation.
It must be said, that for a local Congregation to organize fasting for any reason, it must be properly organized with a programme chart, giving details of those taking activities. It must be a Church programme, not a one man idea.
ALL NIGHT PRAYER
All night prayer as the name denotes, is the act of praying all the night. It is not a command to do so, and those who which to do so can do it. If it is the collective agreement of the local Congregation to do so, so be it. Example of all night prayer by Christ. Luke 6:12.
MAY GOD BLESS HIS WORD IN JESUS HOLY NAME AMEN.